Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Quilting; Knitting and Chestnuts.

Firstly Thanks for your comments. Bubble many of the pickers were Punjabi Indians who live in BOP now and work in the Kiwifruit Industry. Some have done pruning here for us.
 Unfortunately the packing did not go well. Even more fruit was rejected than we feared. Such a dreadful waste.

 Do you like chestnuts? We do and have one tree. We are using them more this year in various ways. I have discovered dropping half a dozen peeled ones in with a roast dinner is delicious. I have also been putting a few into any sort of soup I make. When we were kids we sometimes got given some and then we pricked them and held them on a metal hearth shovel in an open fore till they cracked open. They taste  a bit like very dry Kumara.

 I am back sewing now after having to take time out with a very sore eye. The optician found I had an ulcer on the eyeball. It was very, very painful but is better now. It healed really quickly once I  applied the prescribed drops.
 It meant I couldn't see to use the computer or sew or drive etc. so I had a couple of miserable days and sleepless nights. All good again now though.

 I am making a small quilt because I had a lot of small unusual sized square blocks cut for my last flower quilt. They were going to be in a final border but I decided it looked less busy without, so had the blocks left.  I did the maths to find what size half square triangles would match a 4 patch made of the small squares and am now almost finished enough of the above blocks for a quilt top. ( Jacob's ladder pattern. )  I will show the top in the next post.

I have also been knitting each evening. This is a little jersey which is now finished and being sewn up. I hate the sewing up part. I have also finished this little 

 dress or tunic top. Both patterns came from a Patons Book 1101.

 I have also finished a collection of booties and  beanies, in varying sizes and colours and types of wool. I liked all the wools and combinations of mohair, possum, alpaca  or angora except one garment I made with bamboo. It was not nice to knit and feels cold so I won't use that again. I think wool or a combination of wool and other fibres is best. I never use acrylic. 
 My favourite yarn, so far is a Zealana AIR lace weight . It is probably 2ply, and one ball was just 10gms - enough for a pair of booties. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2015 Kiwifruit Picking.

It is wet here today so we were very lucky with the fine weather yesterday when our whole kiwifruit crop got picked in a day.
 Although everyone was here bright and early 

the fruit and leaves were considered too wet, so picking didn't start till just after 10am.  Empty bins arrived and were unloaded.
Then some of the tractor drivers, truckies, R and R stood around putting the world to right ( as they do )
Once everyone got to work they got stuck in.
 The area closet to the camera has been picked and looks quite different from the fruit laden area.

 They worked in 2 gangs  each with 2 tractors. 
Here drivers Sam and Richard level the fruit on 3 full bins before they transport them up to the loading area.

It was looking as if we didn't have a chance of finishing in the day with 25 pickers when about 2.30 pm another gang who had finished elsewhere arrived and so we got there by 5.15 as the light was fading.
 The new gang had 4 lady pickers who work as hard as the men.
 They were a cheerful lot and there were no incidents or breakdowns all day.

 Colourful too.( notice the hands moving fast. )
 Meanwhile at the loading area Josh was putting the full bins onto the truck.
This is always a good sight ...a truck disappearing down the driveway with a full load .
 In the photo above( left ) you can see where I spent the day. At the table with bowls of fruit cleaning sooty mould off them. As the bins came to the loading area R and I quickly collected the biggest best fruit sitting on top that had sooty on them. I then cleaned them ( as I have been doing for some weeks now ). ( wet  cotton picking gloves and a tooth brush for around the calyx and a spray bottle of CP clean ) It is much quicker and easier when the fruit are already picked. We then feed them back into bins once cleaned. At one stage I took my wet cp clean soaked gloves off and this is how my hands looked.
 Today I have a couple of minor blisters. I probably saved a few hundred fruit from the reject bin.
 A very successful day We picked the largest amount of fruit ever, but know the pack out won't be good because of the sooty mould rejects.

 They pack house rang just now to say some is being packed during the night ...... 2 am and the rest tomorrow. That hasn't given it long to cure ( heal the picking scar ).( It's allowed up to, but no longer than 4 days by the rules )

We did a few jobs outside this morning before the rain set in and are being lazy for the rest of the day. We earned it!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

First on my List of Pleasant Smells.

 The last Rose of Summer ( not a sad one as in Thomas Moore's poem ) but a spray of Charles Austin that I picked and put on the windowsill at the sink where  I can frequently inhale it's delightful perfume.
 It got me wondering what my other favourite smells are.

1.  This rose or any other delightful flower :Violets  Carnations;Daphne; Honeysuckle Freesias etc. )
 2. Grinding Coffee beans.
 3. Freshly baked Bread.
4. Mint being chopped ( or picked or touched )
5. The smell of the sea, or pine trees; or lemons or vanilla or even CRC.
 Do you have a favourite???

 Apparently as one gets older the sense of small (Olfactory ) weakens. Mine hasn't.

 I have been still cleaning kiwifruit. I am now picking them if they are rejects as they are now edible....for us picking time must be quite soon.
 I also decided to pick most of the persimmons .
 The birds and wasps were devouring them. They are ripening in this bin. One of my favourites.
 I have also been doing the walnut pick up but I tell you about that every year. Lots of Beautiful nuts.

I have planted out seedling silver beet; beetroot; broccoli; cauliflower lettuce and celery 
 I got a lovely new red Cyclamen for by the back door.
 I also plant them in the garden. They were very cheap and make wonderful colour at this time of the year.
 The big oak tree in the garden is now dropping leaves daily. so this is what an Autumn scene looks like.
 As you can see my Vireya rhododendrons are flowering well.
 There delights are visual not smell.
 The buds are quite interesting too.
 Apart from taking in some trousers the sewing machine has been idle, but the knitting needles have been busy. I will eventually show you what on.